SCOOP 2016: Zagazaur wins marathon heads-up to win Event #15-M ($82 NLH Ante Up)

The 2016 Spring Championship of Online Poker is nearing the midpoint of the series and Event 15 switched things up. A little No Limit Hold'em tournament but instead of the blinds increasing each level, it was the antes. The medium buy-in version of the event drew a couple thousand entries with Zagazaur picking up his first major online title in the end.

The $82 buy-in tournament attracted 1,581 players and each had three re-entries available to them if they busted out during the late registration period. There were 474 additional entries for 2,055 combined entrants to create a prize pool worth $154,125. Easily surpassing the $100,000 Guarantee.

The tournament was put on pause after Level 28 and remaining players returned for Day 2 to find the next SCOOP champion. The unique structure meant players had plenty of room to make moves and they were in no hurry to mix it up or get fancy with speculative hands.

Four hours after the restart, the tournament was closing in on the final table when former SCOOP champion (and Sunday Million winner) Nelson "FeCoNiCuZn" Maccini joined Team PokerStars member Marc-Andre "FrenchDawg" Ladouceur on the rail.

The final table was formed when izkusi outkicked trisgraudi with A♦K♣ versus A♣J♠, big slick holding to gather the remaining players as one. Zagazaur was the sole COOP winner among them, a title earned as the 2015 SCOOP 31-M champion, but srxakgirona's list of credits include a Super Tuesday win, a SCOOP third place finish, and a WCOOP runner-up result.


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2016 SCOOP-15M Final Table.jpg

Seat 1: Zagazaur (4,765,803 in chips)
Seat 2: MagiosnicaA (1,272,551 in chips)
Seat 3: viktorrz (1,380,397 in chips)
Seat 4: izkusi (2,945,490 in chips)
Seat 5: Zoukki (1,528,545 in chips)
Seat 6: srxakgirona (1,294,326 in chips)
Seat 7: Abrvalk998 (5,547,842 in chips)
Seat 8: M Cunha G (1,281,325 in chips)
Seat 9: niclassen18 (533,721 in chips)

Blinds: 5/5 with 18K Ante

niclassen18 gets tricked, eliminated in 9th

The Ante Up format made for slow action and the pre-flop betting was a little different than normal. A lot of limping followed by huge bets, the first elimination came along those lines.

It began with five limpers tossing in a virtual red bird 5 before niclassen18 moved all-in for 386,696. MagiosnicaA called the shove from the small blind, viktorrz let go of his big blind, and action was on izkusi. The initial under-the-gun limper.

izkusi moved all-in over the top and MagiosnicaA abandoned his 386K without a fight. A fight which would have been tough to win when the table saw izkusi was holding A♠A♥ against J♠6♦. niclassen18 missed the Q♦T♦T♣ then added flush and straight draws on the K♦ turn to give him a chance. The 6♠ river was a blank and niclassen18 was eliminated from the Ante Up final table after an hour of grinding.

M Cunha G also runs into aces, eliminated in 8th

It was the same theme, same result for M Cunha G after another long stretch of little action and small pots. This time we saw a limp by the first six players at the table, all coming along for the minimum ride until it reached M Cunha G in the small blind.

The Brazilian shoved with Q♣9♠ and the move might have worked if Zagazaur wasn't sitting in the big blind with A♦A♣. M Cunha G picked up the hint of a save on the Q♥T♦J♣ flop but couldn't finish it off as the board completed 4♥2♣ to send him out in 8th place for $2,697.

MagiosnicaA anted down, eliminated in 7th

MagiosnicaA left a lot of chips sitting in the middle when niclassen18 was knocked out and then watched as his chip stack quickly dropped down. Not blinded out, but anted down at the pace of 40,000 per hand.

He was sitting with only 13,000 and was the fifth limper into the pot. victorrz checked his "small blind" and izkusi raised it up to 155,555 from the big blind. MagiosnicaA called all-in when the rest of them let their hands go and was in trouble with 8♣5♦ against Q♦Q♣.

MagiosnicaA needed a lot of help and found a little on the J♠9♥6♣ flop. He missed his gutshot draw on the 2♣ turn then whiffed the four-out save when the 5♣ river sent him out in 7th place.

Zoukki can't drive 55, eliminated in 6th

Zoukki was the shortest stack at the six-handed final table but it's all relative. He was sitting with 11 antes which he put in the middle after izkusi raised to 165,000. srxakgirona and Abrvalk998 let their blind hands go and izkusi called with T♥T♦.

Zoukki was in trouble with 5♠5♦ and couldn't find a set on the J♠J♣6♣ board then was drawing dead when izkusi binked the boat thanks to the T♣ turn. Zoukki was drawing dead and collect $5,394 for the 6th place finish.

srxakgirona outkicked and outflopped, eliminted in 5th

Even with plenty of chips in the game, srxakgirona took a chance when he saw an ace and shoved for 1.6 million holding A♦8♠. Zagazaur was sitting in the small blind and called with the much bigger ace A♣Q♠.

They both hit the Q♦8♦6♦ flop and srxakgirona added a flush draw to his middle pair. The 6♥ turn was no help and he was gone in 5th place after the 2♠ river.

Zagazaur stays hot, Abrvalk998 eliminated in 4th

Six hands after srxakgirona was knocked out, Abrvalk998 took a shot of his own and moved all-in for 1.3 million with J♥T♥. Zagazaur was once again in a position to send a player off the final table and shipped in over the top with A♦9♦ to isolate.

The board ran dry for Abrvalk998 and he was gone in 4th place when it finished 8♣5♦2♣K♣9♠. Abrvalk998 had a nice run but had to settle for $9,877 for the effort.

Seat 1: Zagazaur (15,829,865 in chips)
Seat 3: viktorrz (862,621 in chips)
Seat 4: izkusi (3,857,514 in chips)

Blinds: 5/5 with a 70K Ante

viktorrz can't beat the leader, eliminated in 3rd

Two hands after Abrvalk998 hit the rail, viktorrz put in his third position stack from the button. His K♦2♣ looked pretty good at the three-handed table but it was Zagazaur in the small blind trying to send out his third straight player.

He called with A♠3♣ and viktorrz couldn't find either of his two live cards as the board came T♣8♥7♥7♠5♣. Kickers played and viktorrz was knocked out in 3rd place to set the heads-up match for the title.

Seat 1: Zagazaur (16,832,496 in chips)
Seat 4: izkusi (3,717,504 in chips)

Blinds: 5/5 with 70K Ante

Zagazaur wins marathon heads-up to take Event #15-M crown

Three hours.

That's how long it took to play out a match that was insanely deep stacked with only the antes climbing. Three hours into the match and there were very few big pots but izkusi was able to chip away at the lead. The two eventually realized what was on the line and made a deal to chop up the remaining prize pool leaving $2,000 behind for the winner.

Three hours twenty minutes into the match and Zagazaur rebuilt had rebuilt his lead when they both hit a flop. They both checked before the 9♦3♦2♠ flop and Zagazaur checked again, which turned into a check/raise all-in after izkusi bet half of his stack.

The shove was called and izkusi had kicker issues with his top pair 9♥5♦ against Zagazaur's top pair 9♣8♦. The board ran out A♠T♦ to put the matter to rest and Zagazaur earned his first major online title for nearly $25,000.

SCOOP-15-M ($82 NL Hold'em Ante Up) results
Entrants: 2,055 (1,581 Entries, 474 Re-Entries)
Total prize pool: $154,125
Places paid: 270

1. Zagazaur (Czech Republic) $22,818.65*
2. izkusi (Poland) $20,337.57*
3. viktorrz (Russia) $13,871.25
4. Abrvalk998 (Ukraine) $9,887.11
5. srxakgirona (Mexico) $6,935.62
6. Zoukki (Finland) $5,394.37
7. MagiosnicaA (Bulgaria) $3,853.12
8. M Cunha G (Brazil) $2,697.18
9. niclassen18 (Faroe Islands) $1,541.25
*Reflects the results of a two-way deal that left $2,000 in play for the winner


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Al Rash
@PokerStars in SCOOP